1 ■ r
REPORT OF THE SENATE DELEGATION ON THE
SIXTEENTH MEETING, HELD AT
Senator Mike Mansfield, Chairman
AUGUST 1976\ *'■
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Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1976
MIKE MANSFIELD, Montana, Chairman
GALE W. McGEE, Wyoming CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois
LEE METCALF, Montana PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
JOSEPH M. MONTOYA, New Mexico PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado PAUL LAXALT, Nevada
WALTER D. HUDDLESTON, Kentucky
ROBERT MORGAN, North Carolina
JOHN A. DURKIN, New Hampshire
Robert H. Dockery, Staff Consultant
Letter of Transmittal v
I. Background 1
II. Conference program 2
III. Committee reports 4
A. Committee I — Political Affairs 4
B. Committee II — Economic and Social Affairs G
IV. Joint statement by heads of delegations 14
A. Welcoming statement by the Hon. George Busbee, Governor of
B. Opening plenary session statement by Representative E "Kika"
de la Garza 21
C. Closing plenary >e-?ion statement b} T Senator Mike Mansfield 23
D. Financial statement 25
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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
August 13, 1976:
Hon. James 0. Eastland,
President Pro Tempore,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
Dear Mr. President: In accordance with Public Law 86-420,
approved April 9, 1960, I am transmitting herewith a report on the
16th meeting of the Mexico-United States Interparliamentary" Group,
which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, and Denver, Colorado, Februarv
Once again it was my pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Senate
delegation. This is an honor which has been bestowed on me for a
number of years and it is one which I have thoroughly enjoyed. With
my retirement from the Senate at the end of this year, I shall surely
miss participating in these annual conferences.
As I have said before, the United States has no better friend in the
world than Mexico. I am proud that our annual interparliamentary
conferences with Mexico shall forever stand as a glowing testament
to that friendship.
Chairman, Senate Delegation.
SIXTEENTH MEXICO-UNITED STATES
United States participation in annual parliamentary conferences
with Mexico was authorized by Public Law 86-420, approved April 9,
1960. The first such conference was held in Guadalajara in February,
1961. Subsequent conferences have been held in the United States in
even-numbered years and in Mexico in odd-numbered }~ears.
The United States delegates attending the 16th Conference, which
was held in Atlanta, Georgia, February 26-27, 1976, were:
From the Senate
Mike Mansfield of Montana, Chairman.
Joseph M. Montoya of New Mexico.
Robert Morgan of North Carolina.
John A. Durkin of New Hampshire.
From the House of Representatives
E (Kika) de la Garza of Texas, Chairman.
Lester L. Wolff of New York.
Jerome A. Ambro of New York.
Manuel Lujan, Jr., of New Mexico.
John H. Rousselot of California.
Clair W. Burgener of California.
Robert J. Lagomarsino of California.
Benjamin A. Gilman of New York.
Senator Enrique Olivares Santana served as Chairman of the
Mexican delegation. Deputy Luis Danton Rodriguez was Co-Chair-
man of the Mexican delegation. The other Mexican delegates were:
From the Senate
Ramon Alcala Ferrera of Campeche.
Yiftor Manzanilla SchafTer of Yucatan.
Aurora Ruvaleaba Gutierrez of Colima.
Enrique Gonzalez Pedrero of Tabasco.
( ^irlos Perez Camara.
Francisco Aguilar Hernandez of Morelos.
Guillermo Morales Blumenkron of Puebla.
Ignacio Maciel Salcedo of Jalisco.
Edgar Robledo Santiago of Chiapas.
German Corona del Rosal of Hidalgo.
Gilberto Suarez Torres of Oaxaca.
Jo<e Bruno del Rio (Alternate).
Yicente Juarez Carro (Alternate).
From the Chamber of Deputies
Alejandro Sobarzo Loaiza of Sonora.
Antonio Martinez Baez of Michaocan.
Rogelio Garcia Gonzalez of Veracruz.
Francisco Javier Gutierrez Villarreal of Nuevo Leon.
Jose de Jesus Martinez Gil of the Federal District.
Luis Adolfo Santibanez Belmont of the Federal District.
Mario Ruiz de Chavez Garcia of the State of Mexico.
Pedro Guillen Castanon of Chiapas.
Antonio Carrillo Huacuja of Baja California.
Teodoro Carrasco Palacios of Oaxaca.
Jose Milrat (alternate).
II. Conference Program
The Mexican delegation arrived at Andrews Air Force Base at
2:00 P.M., February 25, where it was received by members of the
United States delegation. Both delegations then proceeded directly
to the White House, where President Ford delivered a brief welcoming
address following an informal reception. At 4 :30 P.M. that same after-
noon, both delegations flew to Dobbins Air Force Base, Atlanta,
Georgia, arriving at approximately 6:00 P.M., and proceeded im-
mediately to the Regency Hyatt Hotel in downtown Atlanta, where
the official conference sessions took place.
The opening plenary session of the Conference was held the follow-
ing morning in the Falcon Room of the Regency Hyatt Hotel. This
session included a welcoming address by the Honorable George
Busbee, Governor of Georgia, and introductory remarks by Hon.
E. (Kika) de la Garza, Acting Chairman of the House delegation and
Deputy Rodriguez, Co-Chairman of the Mexican delegation. Immedi-
ately thereafter, the delegates proceeded to their respective commit-
tee meetings, which were held throughout the remainder of the day.
On the morning of February 27, the delegates finished their committee
work and in the afternoon they attended the closing session of the
Conference which included closing remarks by the Hon. Mike Mans-
field, Chairman of the Senate delegation, and Senator Enrique Olivares
Santana, Chairman of the Mexican delegation. That evening, delegates
attended a dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in Atlanta which was followed
by a special Bicentennial performance.
Both delegations departed Dobbins Air Force Base early the next
morning and arrived at Buckly National Guard Field, Denver,
Colorado, at 11:00 A.M. After an informal brunch at the Brown
Palace Hotel in downtown Denver, members of both delegations had
the opportunity to take a bus trip to Vail which was climaxed by a
final dinner at the Eaglet Nest restaurant.
At 2:00 P.M. on February 29, members of the United States dele-
gations departed Buckh^ Field for their return to Washington, arriving
at Andrews Air Force Base at approximately 6:00 P.M.
The work of the Conference was organized in two Committees which
dealt with the following agenda items :
A. Committee I — Political Affairs
1. Bilateral Relations.
2. Views on the United Nations.
3. Changes in the Organization of American States.
(a) Amendments to the Rio Treat} r .
4. Efforts to Control Traffic in Narcotics.
5. Law of the Sea.
(a) Exclusive Economic Zones.
6. Protection of Human Rights.
7. Democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
B. Committee II — Economic and Social Affairs
1. Inflation and Development.
(a) Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States.
2. Trade, Tourism, and the Balance-of-Payments.
3. Implementation of the Trade Reform Act of 1974.
4. Integration and Regional Economic Development.
5. Migratory Workers and Illegal Aliens.
6. Education, Science and Culture.
The Mexico-United States Interparliamentary Conferences do not
take votes or pass resolutions, but in most years the chiefs of delega-
tions have issued a joint statement. The statement issued in Atlanta
this year is printed elsewhere in this report, as are the reports on the
discussions held in each of the two committees.
There follows the rules of procedure adopted annually by the
1. The United States co-chairman will designate a United States
delegate to serve as chairman of each committee.
2. Each delegation will name a delegate for each committee to
serve as official rapporteurs.
3. In each committee the Mexican rapporteur and the United
States rapporteur will prepare a summary of the principal points
and arguments made by the delegates of his country in that com-
mittee. Each summary will be included in the record of the meetings.
4. All meetings will start at the designated hour regardless of the
number of delegates present. If the chairman is not present, a delegate
designated by the chairman will call the meeting to order.
5. To assure maximum participation the chairman will recognize
alternately members of each delegation in the order in which they
indicate a desire to speak.
6. In order that as many delegates as wish may participate, a
delegate may not speak for more than 10 minutes until each delegate
who wishes to speak has had his opportunity.
7. A delegate who has been recognized shall not be called to order
or interrupted during the time allotted him.
8. A delegate may participate in the discussion of a committee
other than the one to which he is assigned in the same manner as a
delegate assigned to the committee.
9. No votes will be taken.
10. It will be in the discretion of the chairman to determine that a
subject has been discussed sufficiently and to recommend proceeding
to the next subject.
11. The opening and concluding plenary sessions will be open to the
press and the public, and a stenographic record will be made. All
committee sessions will be limited to the delegates and to staff at-
tached to each of the two delegations. In order to assure the maximum
expression of views, it is understood that discussions in the committees
will be considered as private and not for publication.
12. It is requested that delegates and staff wear their badges when
attending meetings and other functions.
III. Committee Reports
A. COMMITTEE I POLITICAL AFFAIRS
The United States members of the Political Affairs Committee
were Senators Mansfield and Durkin and Representatives de la Garza
(Chairman), Wolff, Ambro, Burgener and Gilman.
The committee's deliberations encompassed the seven agenda
items assigned to it, beginning with an overview of bilateral relations
between the United States and Mexico. On this subject, there was
virtualty complete agreement that, on a one-to-one basis, Mexico-
United States relations are "good" if not excellent. On a broader
basis, however, there are considerable differences because, as a mem-
ber of the Mexican delegation observed, the United States has global
interests, political, economic and military, and Mexico does not.
A member of the United States delegation commented in response
that, though Mexico's foreign policy interests may not be as broadly
gaged as those of the United States, Mexico is an acknowledged leader
of the Third World.
The committee then turned its attention to the next agenda item,
the status of the United Nations. Members of the United States
delegation expressed their concern that the U.N. Charter was being
undermined and that disruptive practices and procedures engaged in
by some could well lead to the destruction of the United Nations as
an institution designed to safeguard world peace and security. A
spokesman for the Mexican delegation pointed out that the developing
countries have control of the United Nations and that it is incumbent
on all nations which believe in democratic principles to accept their
application in the functioning of the United Nations.
In the course of discussing this issue, the Mexican delegation was
asked about Cuba's intervention in Angola. A member of the Mexican
delegation responded by stating that the principle of non-intervention
serves as the foundation of Mexican foreign policy and that accord-
ingly, Mexico opposes intervention in the internal affairs of one country
The interrelated issues of the Organization of American States and
proposed amendments to the Rio Treaty were reviewed in detail by
a member of the Mexican delegation. This review made it clear that
within the Hemisphere there are considerable differences of opinion
on such matters as ideological pluralism, sovereignty over natural
resources and collective economic security. For example, Mexico is a
strong supporter of the idea that collective economic security is vital
to the peace and well being of the Hemisphere. The United States on
the other hand has, in connection with the proposed amendments to
the Rio Treaty, expressed certain reservations on this issue. As for
the Treaty itself, Mexico does not regard it as a military pact but
rather as an agreement which creates an alliance for cooperation.
A member of the United States delegation summarized his views
on the OAS and the U.N. by saying that both organizations need a
lot of revision.
The committee turned its attention next to cooperative efforts
between the United States and Mexico to control traffic in narcotic
drugs. Both delegations expressed the view that major efforts are
being made by Mexican and United States officials charged with
interdicting the flow and eliminating the supply of illicit narcotics.
Similarly, both delegations praised President Echeverria's proposal
calling for the establishment of parallel national commissions to
oversee the efforts being made to curtail drug traffic between the
United States and Mexico. Despite these efforts, the two delegations
also agreed that more would have to be done by both countries in
order to reduce the impact and magnitude of the problem.
The committee's consideration of the law of the sea issue focused
on (1) efforts within the United Nations to reach an international
consensus on a comprehensive law of the sea agreement and (2)
national legislation creating or establishing 200-mile exclusive fishery
and/or economic zones. Both delegations expressed the hope that the
United Nations committee on the law of the sea would be able to
finish its work this year by reaching agreement on all outstanding
law of the sea issues, including the breadth of the territorial sea,
transit through straits, conservation and protection of living resources
and the marine environment and exploration and exploitation of
A member of the Mexican delegation reported on his country's
decision to create a 200-mile exclusive economic zone. It was pointed
out that, while the Mexican Government will exercise sovereignty
with respect to exploration and exploitation within the zone, it would
be a serious mistake to equate the zone with an extension of the
territorial sea. Mexico views its offshore economic zone as a means of
enhancing national development efforts. Members of the United
States delegation agreed that the United States is moving in the
direction of accepting the exclusive economic zone concept, as evi-
denced by legislation in Congress calling for the creation of a 200-mile
fishery zone. However, there was disagreement among the members of
the U.S. delegation on the desirability of such a zone.
The subject of human rights brought forth expressions of concern
about the treatment of Americans in jail in Mexico and the detention
of Mexican aliens in the United States. It was agreed that every
country has a clear-cut responsibility to protect fundamental human
rights and that no nation has a monopoly on the desire to safeguard
individual rights and freedoms. Both delegations agreed that all
nations can do better in implementing the U.N. Declaration on
The committee completed its work with a brief but intense discus-
sion on democracy in the Western Hemisphere and democratic
institutions in general. The Committee's views on these is-ucs are
summarized in the Joint Statement:
Both delegations agreed thai democracy and the func-
tioning of democratic institutions are the best social and
political means to guarantee the freedom and rights of man,
since they constitute the most effective way to halt the
advance of totalitarianism.
Similarly, both delegations expressed their firm hope for the re-
establishment of representative democracy and democratic institu-
tions in those countries where they have been suppressed.
B. COMMITTEE II ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
The United States members of the Economic and Social Affairs
Committee were Senators Montoya (Chairman) and Morgan and
Representatives Lujan, Rousselot and Lagomarsino.
The six agenda topics assigned to the Committee were discussed
-at considerable length by all delegates who participated in the meet-
ings. A summary of the highlights of these discussions follows.
Inflation and Development
The meeting opened with comments by the Mexican Chairman*
about the effects of worldwide inflation on Mexico's economy.
The Chairman noted that price increases in other countries, partic-
ularly in the United States, have had an adverse effect on Mexico's
balance of payments. (Mexico, it was pointed out, was the fourth
largest recipient of U.S. exports.) While the developed countries could
absorb the effects of a recession, he observed, the developing countries
could not. Mexico particularly feared the possibility of a worldwide
depre^ion which could bring massive unemployment. Mexico has
proposed that all countries achieve a more equitable international
economic system and a stable world economy as set forth in the Char-
ter of Economic Rights and Duties of States (discussed below) ; it
also recommended the conclusion of long-term multilateral commodity
agreements which would take both producers' and consumers' interests
The Mexican Chairman then summarized some of the economic
achievements Mexico had realized over the past five years. These
included: (a) the irrigation of one million hectares of land, increased
fertilization which had produced a surplus in beans and rice, and a re-
duction of the corn deficit by 10% of consumption, (b) the doubling of
petroleum production to more than 830,000 barrels per day, and (c)
the inclusion of approximately 30% of the total population in the
educational system and the construction of 60,000 public housing
A United States delegate responded to these remarks by noting that
the United States had an equivalent interest in improving economic
conditions throughout the world and in raising the standard of liv-
ing. The United States, he pointed out, had not been as fortunate as
Mexico in making recent oil strikes and its dependency on foreign
sources of petroleum products had, if anything, increased during
1974-75. This dependency had, in fact, heightened U.S. awareness of
the interdependence of the world's economies, not only within the
♦The Mexican Chairman of Committee II also served as co-chairman of the Mexican
delegation. Further references in this section to the respective "Chairmen" are meant to
apply to Committee II exclusively.
Western Hemisphere but in other regions. The United States was
committed to helping the developing nations establish and main-
tain world markets for their products, as evidenced by the major
U.S. contribution to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) .
Attention was called to Secretary Kissinger's September 1, 1975
address to the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations General
Assembly in which proposals were advanced to:
Improve developing countries' access to capital markets, to
adapt new technology to specific development needs;
Improve the opportunities in the world trading system so that
LDC's [Less Developed Countries] can "make their way by
earnings instead of aid";
Improve conditions of trade and investment in key commodities
on which the LDC's depend ;
Safeguard against economic shocks to which the LDC's are
particularly vulnerable ; and
Address the needs of the poorest countries, which are most
affected by current economic conditions.
Within the context of bilateral exchange of goods and services, a
United States delegate suggested the possibility of negotiating long-
term agreements which would include crude oil exports to the United
States in exchange for firm commitments on the importation of certain
key Mexican products. In response to this suggestion, a Mexican
delegate noted that although recent discoveries of oil deposits in South-
eastern Mexico were regarded as significant, they were not on the scale
of the "Middle East". Mexico hoped, however, to be in a portion to
make progressively greater exports of crude oil in the future.
Considerable discussion was devoted to recent developments in
Mexico's Border Industry Program. This was a program initiated by
Mexico in 1965 as a means of alleviating the chronic high unemploy-
ment in the Mexican cities on the U.S. border. As of January 1975,
there were almost 550 plants employing some 85,000 persons, but
owing to the U.S. economic slowdown, reduced consumer demand
in the U.S. and increased wages and operating costs i i Mexico, border
industries had declined during this past year.
A Mexican delegate indicated that it was the official Mexican posi-
tion that border factories and assembly plants in Mexico did not
generate unemployment in the United States. A United States dele-
gate responded that that had also been the conclusion of those agencies
of the United States Government which had investigated the matter.
For instance, in 1969, former President Nixon had asked the U.S.
Tariff Commission to investigate the impact of items 806.30 and S07.00
on the U.S. economy. The Commission concluded that repeal of these
two items "would not markedly reduce the volume of imports of the
articles that now enter the U.S. under these provisions. Rather, these
articles would continue to be supplied from abroad . . . but in many
cases with fewer or no U.S. components . . ."
In other words, as a United States delegate pointed out, the United
States officially favored the continuance of the border industry (or
"twin plants") program. The decrease in the level of activity during
1975 as compared with 1974 was based on: (a) decreased demand in
the U.S. as a result of the recession and (b) higher costs in Mexico.
It was not the result of a conscious retrenchment policy on the part
of the U.S. Government.
CHARTER OF ECONOMIC RIGHTS OF DUTIES OF STATES
In his opening statement, the Mexican Chairman observed that the
Charter proposal, while originally an initiative of President Luis
Echeverria, had subsequently been adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly on December 12, 1974. In essence it was a proposal
to remove the concept of economic cooperation from the area of
good-will and to establish it in the field of international law. The
government of Mexico considered the Charter to be a declaration of
human lights for all men as well as all nations. To agree to its spirit
represented progress; at the same time, Mexico realized that imple-
mentation of this idea would take time.
In responding to these remarks, several United States delegates
noted that the original negotiations had produced a draft Charter,
most of whose articles were agreed upon by the United States. United
States objections had only been raised to specific articles dealing with
foreign investment and expropriation, primary commodities, producer
cartels, indexation of prices and similar provisions. It had been the
hope of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations that amendments
advanced by some dozen industrialized democracies could have been
accepted by the Assembly to ensure universal adherence to the
Charter. Unfortunately, this did not occur.
In this connection, the United States chairman pointed out that
there was growing concern among the United States electorate over
recent moves by foreign governments to expropriate U.S. property
without pa3'ment of adequate compensation. As a result, Congress
was unlikely to approve any international agreements which did not
contain specific guarantees for foreign investment. More was involved
than the fortunes of large corporations; the economic security of
thousands of individual shareholders was also at stake. In this regard,
Mexico was cited as a model of international responsibility, since past
nationalization actions of the Mexican government had always been
accompanied by payment of fair compensation. Thus, it was empha-
sized, U.S. reservations about certain Charter provisions (as finally
enacted by the General Assembly) was by no means directed at
At the request of the Mexican legislators, members of the United
States delegation participating in Committee II proceedings agreed
to discuss with the Executive Branch of the United States Govern-
ment the desirability of implementing those provisions of the Charter
of Economic Rights and Duties of States which both Governments
Trade, Tourism and the Balance of Payments
A Mexican delegate underlined the importance of tourism to Mex-
ico's overall development. Not only did tourism bring in needed
foreign exchange, but it also generated jobs and facilitated regional
development. Moreover, income from tourism and border transac-
tions has financed Mexico's trade deficit to an increasing extent in
recent y ears.
In 1975, however, certain negative trends were noted in the flow of
tourists from the United States, which accounted for 85% of the
Mexican market. Economic conditions in the United States restricted
the number of U.S. tourists to Mexico and reduced the average rate
of disbursement. This downward trend became evident in the second
half of 1974, when the tourist growth rate began to level off — leading
to an absolute decline in tourism by early 1975. At the same time,
travel by Mexicans abroad (95% of which was directed to the United
States) increased substantially.
To counteract these trends, Mexico has initiated programs to pro-
mote domestic tourism and to become competitive in international
tourism. An attempt has been made to guarantee quality and prices
in conformance with current market conditions; investment in new
facilities in the Mexican Caribbean, on the Pacific Coast and in Baja
California has been increased; and training of personnel has been
accelerated. Finalh^, a National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism
was established to provide enterprises with technical and financial
Several United States delegates observed that Mexico remained a
country of very considerable interest to American tourists — particu-
larly from such states as Texas, New Mexico and California. In this
connection two United States delegates from the state of New Mexico
stressed the importance of establishing regular flights between Albu-
querque and Mexico City. While this proposal has received the official
endorsement of the U.S. Government, approval by the Mexican
authorities was still pending. These delegates noted that such an air
link should be of great benefit to Mexico which was the favorite
foreign destination of travellers from New Mexico. It was hoped that
progress along this line would be achieved in the current civil aviation
negotiations on a new agreement to replace the 1973 accord.
Another United States delegate summarized some of the positive
and negative factors, which, in the U.S. view, had affected the Mexican
tourism industry during 1975. Foremost among the latter was the
economic recession in the United States, which clearly resulted in less
foreign travel by Americans than would otherwise have been the case.
Mexico's support of the so-called "Zionism" resolution in the United
Nations had also had an adverse impact, as had the lack of competi-
tiveness in air fares between the United States and Mexico in compar-
ison with other international or national routes. On the other hand,
Mexico's decision to rescind the 15% restaurant tax for foreign
visitors had been a most welcome development.
It was the consensus of both delegations chat serious consideration
should be given to increasing the current $100 customs exemption for
returning U.S. residents. This exemption, which compared with an
approximate exemption of $640 granted by Mexico to its residents
returning from the United States, had — it was felt — become diluted by
inflation and should be adjusted upward. Although bills railing for an
increase hi the U.S. customs exemption had been introduced in the
Congress, no action had yet been taken by the House Ways and Means
Committee which had original jurisdiction over such legislation.
Implementation of the Trade Reform Act of 1974
General apprehension was conveyed by several Mexican delegates
over restrictions contained in the 1974 Act which, if strictly imple-
mented, could serve as an impediment to the economic expansion of
the developing nations. Particular concern Was expressed over the
General System of (tariff) Preferences ( GSP) embodied in Title V of
the act which, it was feared, would apply to only a fraction of Mexican
exports. Moreover, it was pointed out, the products excepted from the
GSP system, such as textiles, footwear, electronic parts, steel and glass,
were those in which Mexico enjoyed competitive manufacturing
Within this context, members of the Mexican delegation focussed
special attention on the applicability of certain non-tariff restrictions,
such as import quotas, affecting many agricultural products of which
Mexico was the only and chief supplier. Specific reference was made to
cotton and tomatoes, products which were presently dutiable and
exports of which were being severely curtailed. The Mexican position
on this subject, it was pointed out, had been summarized in a diplo-
matic note presented to the Department of State last November by the
Mexican Ambassador in Washington to which a response had not yet
Finall} 7 , Mexican delegates who spoke on this topic urged that a more
precise definition be agreed upon by both governments of the circum-
stances under which claims of dumping and unfair competition could
be made and that measures be undertaken to assist Mexico in reducing
its formidable and mounting trade deficit.
Responding to these points, a United States delegate noted that
trade between the two countries was not a one-way street and that the
impact of Mexico's import protection S3^stem on United States sup-
pliers was not insignificant. For instance, lemon oil produced in the
state of California (a product which does not compete with Mexican
domestic production) as well as fresh and canned deciduous fruits have
been consistently excluded from the Mexican market. In 1974, more-
over, American-produced beef, dairy products and quarterhorses were
subjected to high tariff rates, which were subsequently modified to
some extent in 1975.
The Mexican government's licensing system also presented a serious
obstacle to United States exporters. Under current regulations, all
agricultural exports from the United States were subject to licensing
and the importation of consumer goods has been prohibited. In effect,
this meant that only industrial products, which were not available
in Mexico, were getting through — often after considerable delay and
uncertainty which the licensing process inevitably entailed.
An additional problem for U.S. exporters was the Mexican pricing
structure — whereby the official price has been set higher than the
invoice price and resulted in higher de facto tariff rates. In the light of
all these considerations, this delegate concluded, an easing of import
restrictions on a wide variety of products, while clearly desirable,
would have to be effected on a reciprocal basis if it was to receive the
necessary level of congressional support.
Other members of the United States delegation emphasized some of
the advantages afforded by the GSP provisions of the trade act — both
to Latin America in general and to Mexico in particular. Had GSP
been in effect in 1974, over one billion dollars of Latin American
exports to the U.S. would have been eligible for duty free treatment.
This represented 75% of total exports to the United States as com-
pared with the 67% of such exports which actually entered the coun-
try duty-free. In the case of Mexico, over 900 products totalling 500
million dollars which Mexico exported on a dutiable basis in 1974
would enter duty free under GSP — in addition to the one billion
dollars which actually entered without duty that year. Moreover, the
GSP program provided for a broad expansion of product coverage
and increased access by Latin American countries to the U.S. market.
The inclusion of such provisions in the 1974 act was, in fact, a note-
worthy achievement during a period of abnormally high unemploy-
ment within the United States.
Integration and Regional Economic Development
Mexican efforts to promote a common Latin American economic
policy were set forth in a paper presented by a Mexican delegate,
which focussed particular attention on the recent emergence of the
Latin American Economic System (SELA). SELA, it was pointed out,
had been a year-long Mexican initiative, leading ultimately to the
adoption of the organization's Charter on October 17, 1975 by repre-
sentatives of twenty-three Latin American countries, including Cuba.
The first formal meeting of SELA had been held in Caracas in Jan-
uary, 1976 with a second meeting scheduled for April of this year.
SELA's structure, this delegate emphasized, was intended to be
"pragmatic and flexible" and to provide a major impetus to regional or
subregional economic efforts without impairing commitments derived
from current treaties. SELA's function, he said, was to complement
and strengthen, not duplicate or displace, existing institutions and
agreements. An important feature of SELA was its universal compo-
sition: participation by all Latin American states was, in fact, specifi-
cally provided for.
The most significant objectives of SELA were cited as the following :
To accelerate regional development through the process of
To improve cooperation among producer nations in order to
maintain stable prices of primary commodities;
To rationalize human, technological and financial resources
on a regional basis; and
To fill the urgent need for an exclusively Latin American forum
in which these common interests may be discussed and to provide
a better mechanism for collective efforts among Latin American
In the Mexican view, therefore, SELi\ was conceived of as an in-
stitution of multinational cooperation, not confrontation, and should
be regarded in that light.
In reply to these comments, a United States delegate noted that the
need for regional economic development was by no means limited to
the nations of Latin America, but also applied to his own state of
New Mexico. The ultimate goal of any such regional policy, he said,
was the free movement of goods across national and international
borders — a policy which, although highly desirable, has proven dif-
ficult at times to implement. The United States nevertheless recognized
the importance of this effort and officially favored the concept of
regional development. An economically strengthened Latin America
meant a stronger Western Hemisphere — a basic U.S. objective.
Members of the United States delegation particularly welcomed
assurances by the Mexican legislators that SELA was designed as a
mechanism for enhanced cooperation, not divisiveness, among all
nations of the Hemisphere.
Migratory workers and illegal aliens
In opening discussion of this subject, a Mexican delegate recalled
that the Organization of American States (OAS) at its 10th regular
meeting held in Mexico Cit}^ in 1974 had adopted the term "non-
documented migratory worker" as being preferable to the designation
"illegal immigrant" or "alien". The purpose of that language change,
he said, was to reaffirm the principle that work — and the attempt to
earn a livelihood by productive labor — was a fundamental human
right. Such labor, he pom ted out, was inherently "legal", whereas the
mamier in which it was carried out was clearly subject to national
This interpretation received the strong endorsement of all members
of the United States delegation. Those delegates, representing such
geographically diverse states as North Carolina, New Mexico and
California, noted that Mexican workers were highly regarded for their
willingness and industriousness and that they have made a major
contribution to the development of the U.S. economy. One United
States delegate pointed out in this connection that Mexican labor in
the United States was by no means confined to agriculture, as was
popularly believed. On the contrary, official statistics confirmed that
over two-thirds of the migratory work force returning to Mexico from
the United States had been engaged in now-agricultural pursuits.
Both delegations took note of the work of the two national com-
missions which had been established in Mexico and the United States
to study the undocumented migratory worker problem following the
October 21, 1974 meeting between President Ford and President Luis
At that meeting, President Echeverria had expressed the view that
a long-range solution to the problem depended primarily on the
improvement of economic conditions in Mexico. A Mexican delegate
pointed out, for instance, that major reasons for Mexican emigration
were: (1) population pressures within Mexico; (2) relative unpro-
ductivity of Mexican agricultural land; and (3) higher salaries in the
United States. Moreover, he noted that such emigration often worked
to Mexico's disadvantage because it resulted in the loss of the better
qualified and more productive Mexican workers to industrial centers
in the United States.
It was the consensus of the United States delegates who participated
in the discussion of this topic that while the above observations were
certainly valid for the longer term, conclusion of a new "Bracero"
agreement would be desirable in the short term. Such a program, it
was felt, although admittedly imperfect, was necessary to regularize
the status of migratory workers and provide some minimal protection
to those individuals.
At the same time, advocates of the Bracero program among the
United States delegation indicated that this view was not present!}^
shared by a majority of their colleagues in the Congress. While U.S.
Congressmen and Senators from agricultural border states favored the
idea, organized labor remained adamantly opposed. Legislators from
the industrial North and East reflected that opposition — which was
also based on a genuine humanitarian concern for the plight of the
Mexican workers. In the light of these divergent viewpoints, United
States delegates urged that the Bracero issue be discussed in subse-
quent meetings between labor representatives of Mexico and the
United States with a view toward increasing mutual understanding
of the realities involved.
Both delegations also expressed the hope that the April meeting of
the Mexican and United States commissions (referred to above) would
fully consider the migratory worker problem and arrive at concrete
recommendations for resolution of same; pending such resolution, both
delegations expressed the hope that legislatively the status quo would
In this regard, reference was made to legislative proposals in the
United States Congress, such as the Rodino bill, which would impose
criminal penalties on employers hiring illegal aliens. Although the
Rodino bill passed the House on two separate occasions, action in the
Senate has been deferred pending the completion of a study on the
practical effects of the legislation.
In the meantime, a United States delegate observed, the United
States Supreme Court had sustained a California state law similar to
the Rodino proposal. The overall effect of this ruling, he believed,
would be to discourage the employment of Mexicans, especially in
doubtful or borderline cases.
In conclusion, members of the United States delegation agreed that
Congressional opponents of the Rodino bill and similar legislation
were presently in the minority and that a strong effort would have to
be mounted if that opposition were to prove effective.
Education, Science, and Culture
Several Mexican delegates stressed the importance of education in
improving human, political and social relations among all peoples. In
the case of neighboring countries like the United States and Mexico
education in neighborliness should be encouraged in order to promote
that which unites the two countries and to eliminate that which divides
them. To that end it was suggested that bilingual education be en-
couraged; that attention be accorded to the similarity of both coun-
tries' struggles for freedom; and that the peoples of the two countries
be informed about one another from the geographic, historic, human
and artistic standpoints.
In a broader context, members of the Mexican delegation pointed to
the establishment of a Third World University which would soon open
in Mexico City — pursuant to the recommendations of a UNESCO
declaration. The goals of this institution, they stated, were to: (1)
contribute to the integral development of man and society; (2) to
identify problems and suggest viable solutions; (3) to obtain fairer
terms of trade on the basis of sovereign equality; and (4) to expand
cooperation among nations in accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations and the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of
United States delegates expressed considerable interest in these
proposals. The United States Chairman observed that one of the
practical barriers to the educational goals set forth above was lack of
equal educational opportunity available to many Mexican-Americans.
For instance, despite a severe doctor shortage in the United States
(estimated at approximately 50,000 vacancies), degrees from Mexican
educational institutions — especially schools of medicine and
dentistry — were still not being recognized in the United States. The
Chairman urged the Mexican legislators to press for reciprocity in this
regard. Another United States delegate observed that education is
also an important vehicle for cultural exchange and pointed out that
he was sending his own son and daughter to Mexico in the future for
further study at Mexican educational institutions.
Both delegations agreed that the exchange of technicians between
the two countries could be usefully expanded. A Mexican delegate
observed, for instance, that only eight Mexicans were presently as-
signed to the United States under this program and only seven Ameri-
cans were similarly engaged in Mexico; clearly, this number should be
United States delegates cited recent developments in solar energy —
for the heating of homes in small communities — and in desaliniza-
tion — to combat a serious water shortage which threatens regions of
both countries — as examples of fields in which the sharing of tech-
nology could be of mutual benefit.
One United States delegate described a specific and current case
history of water pollution involving the northward flow of sewage
from Mexicali in Baja California to San Diego, California. While the
Mexican government has assumed full responsibility for instituting
corrective action, and had made some initial progress, the problem
had been exacerbated by the natural increase in the population of the
Mexicali community. It was suggested, therefore, as in other situations
of this kind, that the ultimate solution might well be in the form of an
international project to be undertaken by the International Bound ary
Finally, the respective Chairmen of the two delegations expressed
full agreement on the usefulness of the Interparliamentary mechanism
for increasing mutual understanding of these often complex problems
and respect for the positions of both countries in international affairs.
IV. Joint Statement by Heads of Delegations
At the conclusion of the 16th Mexico-United States Interpar-
liamentary Conference, the Chairmen of the respective delegations
agreed on the following.
On the occasion of the United States Bicentennial both delegations
to the 16th Mexico-United States Interparliamentary Conference
paid a heartfelt tribute to the Founding Fathers and praised their
work in support of the principles of freedom, equality and justice
which are the cornerstones of political life in the United States.
The delegations committed themselves to working for a better
understanding between the peoples whom they represent, with the
aim of overcoming any obstacle which might detract from the respect-
ful and cordial relations which exist between the United States and
In reiterating their confidence in the usefulness of the Interpar-
liamentary Meetings, they agreed to designate two joint committees,
one to draft a summary report of the 16 meetings which have been
held, and another to draw up a document which will include some
concrete proposals to be presented to Presidents Ford and Echeverria,
who have expressed their interest in the work of the Conference and
in proposals adopted by both delegations.
Views on the United Nations
The United Nations is an important instrument for the preservation
of peace and the establishment of a new economic order.
The United Nations Committee entrusted with reviewing that
organization's Charter should suggest measures to strengthen it, if
such action is required in order to achieve the organization's objectives.
The heads of the delegations reiterated their support for the prin-
ciple of the territorial integrity of all nations and non-intervention
in the political affairs of other states.
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States continues to be the most
important forum for exchanging views among all the states of the
Members of the OAS should make a concerted effort to adapt the
Organization to the political requirements of our time.
The OAS should be a more effective instrument for solidarity and
cooperation among all the countries of the Hemisphere.
The issue of illicit narcotics is a problem multilateral in nature and
concerns the entire community of nations.
Both delegations expressed satisfaction as to the measures and
efforts adopted and undertaken in their respective countries to
suppress the production, traffic and use of illicit drugs.
The United States delegation expressed its gratitude for the efforts
undertaken by the government and the people of Mexico in their
war on narcotics traffic.
Both delegations indicated their approval of President Echever-
ria's proposal to create twin commissions in Mexico and the United
States to coordinate and intensify efforts with respect to the elimi-
nation of the drug problem.
Recommendation was made that both delegations consider the
establishment of a standing legislative committee to review progress
on this issue during the interim period between Interparliamentary
The Mexican delegation expressed its concern about the fact
that some states in the United States no longer penalize the con-
sumption of marijuana, even though these states continue to prohibit
the sale of it.
Law oj the Sea
There should be a redoubling of efforts to reach agreement on all
outstanding Law of the Sea issues.
Coastal states have a right to protect maritime resources close
to their coasts, as recognized by legislative measures recently
approved by both Mexico and the United States, respectively.
The community of nations is approaching a consensus on the issue
of exclusive economic zones.
Protection of Human Rights
The subject of "Protection of Human Rights" was covered
thoroughly. The delegates exchanged views on the treatment afforded
their fellow citizens and reiterated their faith in the Universal Declara-
tion of Human Rights.
In referring to Americans subject to trial in Mexico and to Mexican
migratory workers in the United States, the delegates presented
detailed explanations of these issues and proposed that recommenda-
tions be made that their governments make every effort to guarantee
that the human rights of all are fully protected.
Democracy in the Western Hemisphere
Both delegations agreed that democracy and the functioning of
democratic institutions are the best social and political means to
guarantee the freedom and rights of man, since they constitute the
most effective way to halt the advance of totalitarianism.
Similarly, both delegations expressed their firm hope for the re-
establishment of representative democracy and democratic institu-
tions in those countries where they have been suppressed.
Renewed interest was expressed in the construction of a nuclear
desalinization plant in Baja, California. Both governments should
move ahead with this project as soon as they are satisfied that all
technical difficulties can be eliminated. The construction of such a
plant will be of great benefit to both countries.
Inflation and Development
The Mexican and United States delegations expressed their joint
concern over the worldwide effects of inflation and agreed that this
problem can only be solved in a multilateral framework.
The industrialized and underdeveloped countries have a common
interest in promoting and expanding international trade and in
removing, to the extent possible, the barriers which presently exist
to the free movement of goods and agricultural products across
national boundaries. An important goal in this respect is to insure fair
and stable prices for manufactured goods and for raw materials
produced by the developing nations.
The legislators of both countries agreed on the desirability of in-
creasing the flow of U.S. investment to Mexico, which is consistent
with Mexican law. The American delegates emphasized that past
nationalization actions of the Mexican Government had always been
accompanied by payment of fair compensation. Mexico, in the U.S.
view, serves as a model of international responsibilit}' in this regard.
At the request of the Mexican legislators, members of the United
States delegation agreed to discuss with the Executive Branch of the
United States Government the desirability of implementing those
provisions of the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States
which both governments favor.
Commerce, Tourism and Balance of Payments
Both delegations agreed that a liberalization of the two countries'
bilateral trade policies, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity,
was clearly desirable. The United States delegates, in particular,
acknowledged the need to take Mexican economic interests fully into
account in the implementation of the U.S. Trade Reform Act of 1974.
The Mexican delegation urged favorable trade consideration be
accorded Mexico in the light of Mexico's trade deficit and geographical
location. The Mexican delegation noted that preferential treatment
for neighboring countries has been accepted in principle by the GATT
(General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade).
Generalized System of Preferences
The United States delegation accorded sympathetic consideration to
the concerns expressed by the Mexican delegation over certain pro-
visions of the Trade Reform Act. While cognizant of these concerns
and apprehensions on the part of Latin American governments the
U.S. delegates noted that the benefits of GSP to Mexico were not
inconsiderable. The U.S. delegates also pointed out that to date the
Trade Act's "escape-clause" provisions (including anti-dumping
measures and countervailing duties) had rarely been invoked and
expressed the hope that recourse to such measures in the future would
The American legislators were entirely sympathetic to efforts of
Latin American countries to promote regional economic integration,
such as the Latin American Economic System (SELA). The U.S.
delegates accepted Mexican legislators' assurances that such efforts
were designed to promote international cooperation, not confrontation,
and noted that official U.S. polic}^ favors the concept.
Undocumented Migratory Workers
In an attempt to emphasize their fundamental belief that work and
the desire to obtain work is an inalienable human right and legitimate
human aspiration, both delegations agreed that the term "undoc-
umented worker" is preferable to that of "illegal immigrant." Both
delegations recognized the need for providing protection to Mexican
workers in the United States and for insuring that they receive equal
treatment under the law.
While both delegations recognized that in long-range terms, eco-
nomic progress within Mexico will be a key to the resolution of the
migrator worker problem — as enunciated on several occasions by
President Luis Echeverria — several U.S. delegates expressed the view
that conclusion of a new "Bracero" program would be desirable in the
short term. Such a program, although imperfect, would be preferable
for both countries, it was felt, than the non-regulated situation which
In this connection, the U.S. legislators noted the opposition of
organized labor in the United States to such a program and urged
that this problem be discussed in subsequent meetings between labor
representatives of Mexico and the United States.
Both delegations expressed the hope that the forthcoming April
meeting to be assembled by the governments of the respective countries
of the United States and Mexico would fully consider the problem and
arrive at concrete recommendations for the resolution of same and that
pending such resolution, it was the hope that legislatively the status
quo should be maintained.
Education, Science and Culture
The Interparliamentary delegations recognize the universal char-
acter of education, science and culture and believe that they are the
best means to guarantee the improvement of human, political and
social relations among all peoples. They consider, likewise, that to be
relevant to the requirements of our time, education should include
the study of such concepts as democracy, freedom, independence and
social justice. The delegations believe that in the case of neighboring
countries, specifically Mexico and the United States of America,
education in neighboiiiness should be provided in order to promote
that which unites us and to eliminate that which divides us. To that
end, they suggest that bilingual education be encouraged; that
attention be accorded to the similarity of our struggles for freedom;
and that the peoples of our respective countries be informed about one
another from the geographic, historic, human and artistic standpoints.
The delegations of both countries believe that the bulwark of peace
is the mind of man. The Mexican delegation, citing a UNESCO
declaration, indicated that the time had come to promote the estab-
lishment of international institutions of education, such as the Third
World University, which will soon open in Mexico. The goals of such
institutions, they pointed out, are: (1) to contribute to the integral
development of man and society; (2) to identify problems and suggest
viable solutions; (3) to obtain fairer terms of trade on the basis of
sovereign equality; and (4) to expand cooperation among nations in
accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Charter of
Economic Rights and Duties of States.
The United States delegates expressed considerable interest in this
proposal and promised to give it very serious consideration.
Welcoming Statement by the Honorable George Busbee.
Governor of Georgia, 16th Mexico-United States Inter-
parliamentary Conference, Atlanta, Ga.
Senator Mansfield, Senator Olivares Santana and distinguished
members of the Mexico-United States Interparliamentary Conference.
I appreciate your invitation and am pleased to be able to be with
you this morning. On behalf of all Georgians, I would like to welcome
you to our beautiful State, and particular^ to the great city of Atlanta.
Since the establishment of the Conference in 1960, your annual
meetings have been held in many fine cities. It is especially fitting that
you have chosen Atlanta, Georgia, for this 1976 meeting.
Atlanta is rapidly gaining worldwide recognition as a center for
foreign exchange in the areas of government, commerce, banking and
In less than six months, the world spotlight will be directed to the
very heart of this city with the opening of the Georgia World Congress
Center which will combine exhibition space, meeting rooms, simul-
taneous translation facilities, food service, and international telephone
service in one single building.
There is nothing else like it in the world, and I sincerely hope you
will have an opportunity to return to Atlanta after its opening for
similar foreign exchanges.
The World Congress Center is just one of the exciting developments
going on in Atlanta at the present time but one of which I am most
In readying ourselves for the future we have tried to mold a city
and a State which are both accessible to, and capable of providing
services for, a wide spectrum of business, industry and government
throughout the world.
As chief executive of this State I am keenly interested in quality
education, and the economic development of Georgia.
Through our statewide international efforts, we have been able to
develop an extensive network of worldwide governmental, industry and
Georgia is one of the few States in the country with as many as four
overseas offices. They are located in Brussels, Belgium; Tokyo, Japan;
Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Toronto, Canada.
During my first year in office, I conducted three trade missions over-
seas—going to Western Europe, the Far East, and Mexico.
While in Mexico last April, I was privileged to meet with Emilio
Rabasa, Minister of Foreign Relations. We toured the outstanding
Mexican Institute of Foreign Trade Exhibition which had a most
impressive array of quality Mexican products. We also talked ex-
tensively of the possibilities of opening a Mexican office in Georgia.
I am happy to report that as a result of this very successful trade
mission to Mexico, we now boast a fulltime Mexican Consulate in
Georgia headed by Consul Alexander Hungler. The addition of the
Mexican Consulate brings the number of fulltime consulates in Georgia
to eight in addition to the 30 honorary consuls who are also here.
To round out Georgia's excellent potential for international growth
and exchange we also have —
One of the most aggressive and active Ports Authorities in the coun-
try ; and
We are now in the process of establishing the state's first Foreign
Altogether there are presently more than 180 international firms in
operation in Georgia — emplo}dng 15,000 people — with a total of $160
million in investments in manufacturing facilities, and over $136
million in non-manufacturing foreign real estate acquisitions.
The importance of the trade missions, however, has reached far
be}^ond merely being part of an aggressive economic development
They have been a most beneficial learning experience for me as
I have learned how international business leaders view my state and
region from an economic and growth standpoint, and I am proud to
note their conclusions are most positive.
I have also learned first hand of the close interrelationships which
exist among the nations of the world. We are indeed an international
community, and this neighborhood will grow closer through the
We in Georgia are proud of our worldwide friendships, and especially
of our relationship with Mexico.
As neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, we have a great oppor-
tunity to work together to find solutions to our long range needs and
the immediate problems we share.
Our scales of observation will necessaruV differ — my perspective is
as a governor representing 4% million people. You are senators and
congressmen representing specific constituencies, and in the capacity
of this Conference, you represent your nation's government.
Our individual goals are the same — to insure the best for our people,
and to strive for world peace.
The goals of this Conference are to discuss common problems in the
interests of relations between the United States and Mexico, and to
foster a closer relationship among the peoples of our lands.
All of these goals are directly related to the degree of understanding
which exists among our citizens:
We share much in common, and we have a great deal to learn from,
and with, each other. We have come to live our lives together, and the
success of our personal futures, and the future of our countries are
I applaud you for your work on this Conference. Your responsibil-
ity is great, and the issues you deal with are extremely important, and
some are controversial.
But you are here to work for the common good of our citizens, and to
provide insight to our respective countries on policies and trends
which dramatically affect our future.
Thank you for this opportunity to meet with you. Come back and
visit us again soon, and best wishes for a successful meeting.
Opening Plenary Statement by Hon. E. (Kika) de la Garza 1
Governor Busbee, our very distinguished colleagues — the delegates
from Mexico, my colleagues of the U.S. House and Senate, dis-
tinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
It is my great honor and distinct privilege to welcome you to the
opening plenary session of the 16th Mexico-United States Inter-
1976, as you know, is a veiy special year for us in the United States.
It is a year in which we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our In-
dependence — Yes, this is a very special birthday for our country.
We want to make it also a very special }*ear for our Mexican guests
and for our conference.
Once again, as we initiate our labors, we have a full and challenging
agenda of topics to discuss, both of a bilateral and multilateral na-
ture. Some issues we have dealt with before; others are new. All, I
believe, are of impoitance to our relations as friends and neighbors,
hence merit — and I am sure will receive — our best efforts.
We note that our deliberations have now transcended from purely
bilateral issues and problems to those which are not limited to us,
but go beyond our two countries and even our hemisphere. We will
be discussing, and I think very appropiiately so in this our bicen-
tennial, the direction and development of democracy and democratic
institutions in the Western Hemisphere.
It is with some degree of pride that I mention that here in these
United States of America was born that novel experiment of liberty,
of freedom and dignity for the individual, of equality and justice
under the law, of government by the consent of the governed. It is
not perfect, it has its failings — realh' not of the system but of the
people — for when you deal with humans, there is always the ca-
pacity to err. But it is well to remind ourselves and our friends that
Washington and Jefferson and Madison, Franklin, and Mason gave
us a simple piece of paper, the Declaration of Independence, followed
by a Bill of Rights and a Constitution * * *. And now 200 years later,
I think even beyond their dearest wish or expectation, here we are
with the same Bill of Rights, the same Constitution — amended, yes,
1 Mr. de la Garza's remarks were delivered In Spanish, and lose some of their original
flavor in this rather free translation.
but done so in a manner the document itself suggests. I think it
would be well to remember, and I do so in honor of our Mexican
colleagues, that the same yearning for independence, that same spark
that would light the fires of freedom, had been ignited in the hearts of
noble people in what are now Mexico and other countries of the
Western Hemisphere * * *. And it was not long after Washington
and Philadelphia that we heard "El Grito de Dolores", and the world
knew of Hidalgo and the man} T other Mexican patriots, including
Dona Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez.
It is well to remember that many of our ancestors and mam r of our
states, including my own state of Texas — and even part of }^ours,
Senator Mansfield — were not a part of the cry for independence of
Philadelphia, but rather of "El Grito de Dolores", for all the lands
west of the Mississippi were a part of New Spain.
Fate, divergence of opinion amongst people, and eventually war
made us a part of the United States of America, but many of us never
stopped being brothers with our neighbors to the south; and I want
my Mexican colleagues to carry this message back to your people:
We are your brothers, we are your friends — many times misunder-
stood — but even then we remain dedicated to that initial link of
I do not think it is necessary to recall facts, but history bears this
out: Neither you nor the rest of the world need fear any yearning of
our people for power or domain. All one needs to do is look around —
look at Germany and Japan; we conquered them both after a great
war. They signed unconditional surrender, but now they are our com-
petitors in the markets of the world. Yes, we make mistakes (I told
you of the human capacity to err) , but the American people have this
great power to reconciliation, for sometimes the failings are of the
government and not necessarily of the people. We invaded your
country, our ships landed troops upon your shores * * * and not too
many years later, one of our mightiest aircraft carriers was at Tampico
after a hurricane * * * landing troops, yes, but to save lives of your
countrymen, our brothers. In the border country where I come from,
we live as brothers — we do so daily, perhaps because we are so far
from Washington and Mexico City.
The language, the customs, the culture, the architecture, the music,
the names — all remain, and we acknowledge them with pride. Many
of our public institutions and private businesses fly the American
flag, the Texas flag, and the Mexican flag side by side — this in the
United States of America, yes, in the United States of America, so
often chastised for having no concern for others, or their institutions.
But let me turn for a few brief moments to what we do here * * *.
It is with some degree of sadness that I attend this conference, for I
know it will be the last for many of our Mexican colleagues who finish
their terms of office this year. We have worked together, we have
become personal friends * * *. Yes, we have made friendships that
will last for many years, but let us look at what we have accomplished
in these sixteen years, look at the items that will not be discussed. That,
I think, should be our greatest tribute, for it has been at these confer-
ences that we have hammered out in theory and in principle what our
executive branches have later incorporated into treaties and protocols —
Chamizal, El Rio Colorado to name but two. We have worked side
by side, as friends and neighbors, and we have achieved. So now let
us look to the future, let us continue. There will be others who will
come, as others came before you, but these years in which this group
has worked together have been fruitful years, both personally and for
our two countries. We have made both of our countries better places
in which to live; we have learned about our respective peoples; we
have discussed our differences and carried forward our agreements.
Yes, both you, rny Mexican colleagues, and we have carried the
banners of our countries high — with respect, and dignity, and love.
We salute you.
I would like to close with a special tribute to the Mexican people
via a personal anecdote: It was during hurricane Beulah in 1967.
The great floods which came after the storm inundated many com-
munities on both sides of the river. Our military came into the area
and assisted all who needed help. There was no border — all were
taken to high ground regardless of which side of the river they in-
habited. Almost all of the city of Camargo, on the Mexican side, was
under water; so all of the people were brought to our side, to Rio
Grande City and Roma. They were taken to schools, churches,
private homes — wherever they could be cared for. Governor John
Connally came down; then President Lyndon B. Johnson arrived.
I had been there all the time. As we were going through a school
where the people were being cared for and fed, I was translating for
President Johnson as he spoke to the people from Mexico * * *.
We reached a family which, I could tell, was of very humble economic
resources. President Johnson asked the lady how they were being
cared for, and she replied "real well" ; and he asked about her children,
were they being fed? — and she replied "yes, thank you." I then
asked her if she knew who this man was, and she said no * * *. I told
her he was the President of the United States, and immediately
she stood up and stood her children up. President Johnson then told
her: "I am a very good friend of your President Diaz Ordaz." Tins
very humble Mexican woman, with her arms around her children,
told me: "Please tell the President that in the name of our President,
Don Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and of all our countrymen here, I give
him thanks and that if God permits him some day to come to Camargo,
he has there a humble home."
It is in that spirit, my colleagues, that I say to you: We cannot
change the past, but we and this conference have enhanced the present,
both for our two countries and for the world, and there is no limit to
what can be accomplished in the future. It may be by others, but
we have paved the way. So in this 16th session, let us leave an in-
delible mark, enabling us to respond with pride to those who would
ask what has been done: "Look around you" * * * A better world, a
better Mexico, a better United States — and that we have achieved
this as brothers * * * that shall be our monument!
Remarks by Senator Mike Mansfield at the Closing Plenary
Session XVI, Mexico-United States Interparliamentary
Conference, Atlanta, Ga.
Senator Olivares, Deputy Rodriguez, Congressman de la Garza,
fellow Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen :
I want to take this opportunity to thank Governor and Mrs. Busbee
for the many courtesies they have extended to us. We particularly
appreciate Governor Busbee taking time out of his busy schedule to
be with us during the opening plenaiy session of the Conference.
Similarly, I want to thank Mayor Jackson and his office for their
help and assistance here in Atlanta.
The City of Atlanta. The modernity of this City almost belies its
historical antecedents, and yet, there is a marvelous balance between
the old and the new; Atlanta sports a traditional elegance that few
cities can match — but combined with a functionalism that belongs
to the 21st Century.
Atlanta has learned to live with itself: it jealously protects its rich
Southern heritage. It thoroughly enjoys the present. And it realistically
plans for the future.
The people of Atlanta, we salute you. And we thank you for making
our stay here a very enjoyable one.
Southern hospitality is alive and well. And its hometown is Atlanta.
At this point, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me assure you that I will
not follow in the footsteps of the O. Henry character who professed
he had nothing to say and then proceeded to "* * * talk till the sun
went down and the chickens went to roost." I will be brief.
I have had the honor of speaking at many of these closing sessions
and I appreciate the opportunity to do so once again.
Because of the timing of this year's conference, I want to thank
Senator Olivares, Deputy Rodriguez and the entire Mexican delega-
tion for their cooperation and help in holding our meeting earlier in
the year than is customary. It is the kind of cooperation and help
that we have come to expect from each other; it is the kind of coopera-
tion and help that stands as a lasting tribute to our annual meetings;
and it is the kind of cooperation and help that contributes to greater
understanding and to strengthening the bonds of friendship between
our countries. Indeed, it is the kind of cooperation and help that
diplomats dream of and poets write about.
We have forged this relationship in just sixteen short years and we
have established a record of which all of us can be justifiably proud.
It is a record which has stood and will continue to stand the test
of time; it is a record established not of necessity, but of desire — a
desire to learn, to understand, to speak to each other with respect for
our differences and appreciation for our similarities.
Respect and appreciation — they have served as the guiding hand
for our meetings — and they have served well. This year we ploughed
through an agenda comprised of thirteen major items, ranging from
the United Nations to migratory workers; from law of the sea to the
Trade Reform Act; from efforts to deal with the flow of narcotic drugs
to integration and regional economic development.
We did not subject each topic to exhaustive debate or tedious
examination. Nor did we attempt to negotiate our differences. Bather,
we have listened and learned. We have gained new insights. We have
broadened our horizons. And despite our differences, or perhaps be-
cause of them, all of us are better for having been here.
We may not see eye to eye on the United Nations issue, for ex-
ample, but all of us believe in the need for such an organization and
the rule of international law.
We may have different views on the law of the sea, but all of us
believe in the need for an international agreement that will prevent
the mindless exploitation of the seas and will serve to benefit all
We may not agree on the specific details designed to implement the
Trade Act of 1974, but we all agree on the need to expand interna-
tional trade and improve the economic well-being of all nations.
Our objectives are the same. Our approaches are quite often differ-
ent. This is as it should be, because each nation defines its own self-
interests — and therein lies the opportunity for cooperation.
Mexico and the United States have seized this opportunity' on many
occasions. Such opportunities culminated, for example, in the Chamizal
Settlement of 1971 and the Colorado River Salinity Agreement of 1973.
They are proud testament to the shared desire that our actions match
our words. And indeed the} 7 have.
Fellow delegates and distinguished guests : Let me close on a sort of
About 200 years ago, March 23, 1775, to be precise, Patrick Henry
was moved to say, "I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided,
and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the
future but by the past."
If Patrick Henry was right, and I think it is fair to say that he was
right about a lot of things, then the experience we have gathered
during the past sixteen years casts a bright and illuminating future
for the next sixteen.
At the time of the filing of this report, the estimated total of the
Senate delegation's official expenses for the 16th Mexico-United
States Interparli amen tar}- Conference came to approximately $20,000.
A consolidated report showing all expenditures of the delegation at
the conference will be filed later with the Senate in accordance with law.
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